• Since Monday, November 22, Alix elementary school has been hosting two homeless Albanian families, whose children are in school.

  • It is the ninth school in Lyon which decides to shelter precarious families because the public authorities cannot find emergency accommodation.

  • The Jamais sans Toit collective helps them with fundraising and volunteers, while waiting for a definitive solution. 

At recess, the courtyard of the Alix school, cours Charlemagne (Lyon 2), resonates with games and cries of joy. Among these laughing children, a few will not be going home tonight. They will stay sleeping at school with their parents because they don't have a home. These two Albanian families, whose children go to school while being on the street, are not isolated cases: around fifty families, including 123 children, are currently housed in nine Lyon schools, thanks to the Alix Solidarité collective, supported by Jamais Sans Roof.

"This collective has existed for a long time and it is still very active", explains François Bachelet, teacher at Audrey-Hepburn school, occupied since last week, and parent of a student at Alix school.

“These two families slept on the floor in Perrache, in the parks… They had a complicated journey, and it was too hard to see our children's friends sleeping outside, which is why we decided to shelter them in Alix as soon as possible. Monday.

"

In search of leaders and places of welcome

This illegal occupation responds to the slowness of the public authorities in the face of emergency accommodation requests. François Bachelet repeated the same procedures: “We contacted the district town halls, the central town hall, the metropolis and the prefecture. The answers are simple, namely to pass the buck, and all that the metropolis can do is to accommodate only single mothers with a child under 3 years old. "

If the current town hall has no official competence in the matter, it tolerates the occupation of schools by allowing them to be heated at night, and identifies vacant apartments in order to be able to place these families in the shelter.

"The prefecture is supposed to manage emergency accommodation, but for the moment, it is not up to the task", regrets François Bachelet.

“Places previously adapted for reception, such as Cemagref in the 9th arrondissement, have not reopened this year, we do not know why.

"

A long wait that depends on collections

Previous school occupations had resulted in state support, but after several months. However, the collective lacks the means, human and material, to wait that long: "When you start a school occupation, it is so that these people never return to the street", recalls François Bachelet. “That's why we pay them extra hotel nights on weekends. These are large sums that we must collect, in the long run, but the duty to protect, to shelter, is stronger than the rest. "

Warned, the National Education did not respond, "apart from emails to remind us to remember to celebrate the Day of the Rights of the Child ... And we, as teachers, it is difficult to talk about these rights, and of the school of the Republic, to these children, when they are told that among their comrades, there are some who go to sleep outside.

We can't find the words to justify that, because it's unjustifiable.

"

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  • Lyon

  • Association

  • Homeless

  • Solidarity

  • Society

  • school

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